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Why Utahns Are Taxed Like They Live in a Blue State…

Utah’s state and local tax burden is too high

According to the Tax Foundation, Utah has the 23rd highest state and local tax burden of all the 50 states. Only three red states have a higher tax burden than Utah: Kansas, North Dakota, and Nebraska. The other top states are blue states like California, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.

Governor Cox recently sent a campaign email celebrating Utah’s fiscal responsibility. In the email, Governor Cox says:

“It might not grab a lot of headlines, but I’m incredibly proud of Utah’s steadfast commitment to fiscal responsibility and paying down its debt.”

Governor Cox also makes it clear that he’s proud Utah isn’t behaving like our bankrupt federal government:

“In a climate where the federal government continues its uncontrolled spending spree, Utah stands out as a shining example of fiscal prudence.”

As a member of Utah’s House of Representatives, I am also proud that the State of Utah has paid down its debt. However, I am not proud of the fact that this is largely because my colleagues and Governor Cox have relied on an excessively high tax burden to do so. Utah taxpayers deserve the credit for Utah’s fiscal responsibility – not Governor Cox nor me and my colleagues in the legislature.

At the same time that Governor Cox is taking credit for Utah’s “fiscal responsibility,” American consumer debt has reached an all-time high of $17 trillion dollars in 2023. With no relief from high taxes and nothing but neverending growth of government spending that continues to fuel inflation, American consumers have had to balance their family budgets by going deeper into personal debt.

It is out of touch and insulting to celebrate the fiscal responsibility of the State of Utah that has been paid for by a high tax burden that is forcing Utahns to go deeper into personal debt.

When Spencer Cox became governor, our state’s annual budget was $18.2 billion. In 2022, it was $26.5 billion, which is a 45% growth rate in state government spending.

When you spend like a blue state, you have to tax like a blue state.

As governor of Utah, my budget priorities will be based on true fiscal responsibility that results from limiting spending instead of increasing taxes. Help fuel the fight to get Utah back on track.